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Social Software for the Rest of Us (or Librarian 2.0)

Submitted by Michael Stephens on November 14, 2005 - 1:44pm

“Libraries should be seizing every opportunity to challenge these perceptions, and to push their genuinely valuable content, services and expertise out to places where people might stand to benefit from them; places where a user would rarely consider drawing upon a library for support."—Paul Miller, from “Web 2.0: Building the New Library," Ariadne 45 (October 2005) (
Jenny’s previous post noting that libraries should be playing a pivotal role in the development of Web 2.0/Library 2.0 services, leads me to ponder what first steps the uninitiated might take—as well as the personal side of the social software universe.

I touched on it briefly at CPL last week, but there was just so much to talk about that day.
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Libraries as Social Machines

Submitted by Jenny Levine on November 13, 2005 - 7:32pm

I realized that last month I promised to write about how many of the pieces of the social software movement came together this year, so here are some thoughts to help you survey the landscape. Read More »

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It's Good [for Libraries for Him] to Be the King: CPL Scholars, Part 1

Submitted by Teresa Koltzenburg on November 11, 2005 - 6:30pm

Abram, Stephen The other day, while walking out at the end of a break-out session of the Chicago Public Library’s Scholars in Residence Conference at the Harold Washington Library Center, I mentioned to my colleague, Laura Pelehach (acquisitions editor from ALA Editions), that I wanted to meet him (finally, after seeing him speak on a few occasions) face to face at the reception at the end of day. A conference attendee, walking out just behind us, chimed in, “When you do, ask him if he will be the king of the world."
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Library 2.0 in Publish

Submitted by Teresa Koltzenburg on November 8, 2005 - 4:36pm

Publish, published by Ziff Davis Media, Inc., featured a nifty article by Jason Boog last week, "Library 2.0 Movement Sees Benefits in Collaboration with Patrons," which features interviews with Jenny Levine, Aaron Schmidt, and Jessamyn West.

According to Boog, "These innovative librarians realize that some Web 2.0 technologies, such as blogs, wikis, and online databases like Google Print, are already competing for the attentions of library patrons...The librarians aim to build a participatory network of libraries using Web resources like blogs, wiki tools, and tags."
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Lemony Snippets

Submitted by Tom Peters on November 2, 2005 - 11:38am

Lots of folks are sour on snippets. Google has made lemonade out of the old word "snippet" by using it to describe what will be presented to users when they perform a full-text search in the Google Print Library and retrieve hits for the search term in a work still protected by copyright. Here is Google's brief (and a little vague) description of how this works on the "common questions" page about the Google Print Library Project ( "For library books still in copyright, you'll be able to find the book in your search result, but we will only display bibliographic information and a few short snippets of the book." Read More »

The Niche of Negotiated Meaning

Submitted by Jenny Levine on October 31, 2005 - 10:28pm

I was thrilled to read Michael's mini-interview with Will Richardson, because I, too, was blown away by Will's keynote at the Internet Librarian conference. Pretty much every part of his talk resonated with me in some way (especially since we have two middle school children at home), but the part that really hit me hard was when Will discussed "negotiated meaning." He defined it as teaching kids how to negotiate what is true, especially since you can no longer just hand them a textbook or The New York Times and tell them they're "right." Read More »

A Discussion with Will Richardson: Librarians & the Read/Write Web

Submitted by Michael Stephens on October 31, 2005 - 12:56pm

Richardson, Will (Stephens post 10/31/05)I’ve heard Will Richardson (that's him, at your right) speak twice at various conferences, including last week in Monterey; he keynoted the Internet at Schools conference that ran concurrently with Internet Librarian. Jenny did a bang-up job reporting on his talk here.
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Button, Button, Who Has the Button?

Submitted by Tom Peters on October 31, 2005 - 2:54am

Cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players, and other portable information/communication appliances all have buttons. For most tasks, the dominant way of interacting with these devices involves pressing buttons. The functionality of some buttons has become so multifarious that they seem like joysticks—without the stick and without the joy.

The problem is: most button designs are poor, assuming that easy usability is the principal design goal. Somewhere along the line the device-design community developed the collective wisdom that the purpose of button design is to enhance the overall style—and sales attractiveness—of the device. The result is a bunch of gadgets with buttons that elicit user responses ranging from confusion to open hostility. Read More »

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Makin' Copies and Caching In

Submitted by Tom Peters on October 19, 2005 - 9:34am

Tom Peters Head Shot

I don't know what possessed me to write a blog entry about copyright. Hasn't enough been written about copyright already—even if the future of copyright, fair use, the right of first sale, and intellectual property in general is arguably one of the essential issues currently confronting society and culture?

Here's how it happened. I was walking our dog Max in the pre-dawn darkness. Overhead, the slightly past-full moon was beginning its decline. The warm breeze reminded me that today probably will be the final day this year of summerlike weather in beautiful Blue Springs. Read More »

Chicagoland Librarians Have Beaucoup Tech Support This Fall

Submitted by Teresa Koltzenburg on October 18, 2005 - 8:41pm

Although the sweltering temps in Chicago this summer at ALA Annual weren't at all comforting, Chicagoland offers librarians oh-so many comforts (meaning the M-W Online definition of 2comfort [noun]: "strengthening aid, assistance, support") this autumn.
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